Thank you all for joining me for Book Week. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. To conclude the festivities I thought I would tell you about the last great book I read - Fresh Milk: the secret life of breasts.
It was suggested to me because the highly personal subject of breastfeeding is shared through anonymous anecdotes, in the same way I aim to share the stories of the stepmothers I have been speaking with.
I loved this book. From cover to cover. It's respectful, wise, considerate, informative and funny. The story topics range from the practicality of feeding triplets, to men who lactate to feed their babies, cooking with breastmilk, buying a maternity bra, weaning, and women who choose not to breastfeed.
This book is like The Vagina Monologues of breasts, and even mimics some of the sections from that book: If your breasts could speak what would they say? If breastfeeding were a place, what would it look like? I learned so much from so many women and even though I have never breastfed my child, I never felt excluded. On the contrary. I felt particularly included, especially when the mothers spoke of the valuable role played by others in the nurturing of their offspring:
Effective parenting is not tenable alone, nor even through the cooperative liaison of two loving parents. It is a web spun by a far-flung constellation of people, working together to weave the cat's cradle that make a child's life possible.